Dividend Update - March 2021

dividend growth investing | financial independence | freedom | dividends

It's the end of one month and the beginning of another so it's time for my favorite update: my dividend update.  These dividend updates reflect all dividends that I receive through my investing pursuits. I hope they can help inspire you to take control of your own finances and invest to build a passive income stream. What you use that stream for is up to you, whether it's to fund early retirement, just provide some FI/FU money, or even to provide for an annual vacation; the key is that it can provide options and open up all sorts of possibilities. You can check my dividend income or progress pages to see what dedication to an investment plan can give you.

And just like that the first quarter of 2021 is in the books.  It definitely doesn't seem like 3 months ago we were turning the page on a rather forgetful year and into 2021.  

During March, my FI Portfolio produced $1,171.05 in dividends with my FolioFirst portfolio chipping in another $11.32. My Roth IRA added $106.97 while my Rollover IRA generated $413.77.  All told I received $1,182.37 across my taxable accounts and $1,703.11 across all accounts.

Making Money While I Sleep

The power of joining the ownership class is that those companies can work much harder for you than you can.  Think about it.  By myself I have to devote my own time to a job in order to make money.  However, by buying a stake in a high quality business I now get to leverage my own time that I exchanged for money into companies that are working around the clock to make products or provide services for their customers.  Those companies are working 24/7/365 which means that I make money even when I sleep.

During March the companies I own paid me $54.94 per day or $6.87 per hour assuming 8 hour work days every day of the month.  Year to date those numbers are $33.53 per day and $4.19 per hour.

FI Portfolio

As I mentioned above my FI Portfolio produced $1,171.05 in dividends during March.  That's an excellent 14.6% increase from December, but a disappointing 2.4% decline compared to March 2020. 

I'm actually pretty encouraged despite the year over year decrease.  The handful of dividend cuts I took in 2020 hadn't come to pass by March 2020 so that doesn't explain the decline, but there is still quite a bit of noise in those numbers mainly due to my closing of my Well Fargo and Dominion Energy positions.   Normalizing across the periods shows a more palatable 5.3% increase year over year.

Year to date my FI Portfolio has produced $2,003.25 which is a slight 2.4% decrease compared to the YTD numbers for 2020.

Roth IRA

My Roth IRA generated $106.97 in dividends during March which is a solid 6.7% increase compared to December and a 5.8% increase compared to March 2020.  While I'm happy with those results it's a bit surprising to see the year over year increase come in lower than the quarterly increase.  That was 100% due to Well Fargo's dividend cut which definitely stung.  

Through March the YTD total for my Roth IRA is showing an excellent 7.5% increase compared to 2020.  I'm even happier with those results because (1) it includes the aforementioned Wells Fargo dividend cut and (2) I have a pretty sizable chunk of cash ready to be invested thanks to the Roth IRA contribution from the 2019 tax year that didn't get fully invested and my 2020 contribution that was made during March.

Rollover IRA

In March of 2019 I mentioned that I would start reporting on my Rollover IRA.  The bulk of those funds are invested in dividend growth companies, although there's a few that aren't, so to give the cleanest picture I will show just the dividend growth investments during my monthly reports.  That being said I'm not too worried about any particular month/quarter of dividends since my current plan is to be a bit more active with these funds than I would in my taxable accounts.  

My Rollover IRA produced $413.77 in dividends during March which was a 3.5% increase from December 2020 and an excellent 27.5% increase compared to March of last year.  The increase was largely due to additional purchases made throughout the last year as well organic dividend growth. 

The YTD total for 2021 sits at $813.13 which is a remarkable 32.1% increase compared to the same period of 2020.

Dividend Raises During the Month

The volume of dividend raises slowed significantly in March.  After 16 combined increases in January and February, March added just 2 more into the mix.  Although the 2 March raises increased my forward 12-month dividends by $70.32.  YTD dividend raises have boosted my forward 12-month dividends by $208.53.

Dividend Increase Source

I've started breaking down the monthly dividend increase into its components: purchases, re-investment and dividend raises.  This lets me see what is the bigger contributor each month in my pursuit of financial independence.  I'm only tracking this for my main FI Portfolio since that is the portfolio that I want to ultimately provide the bulk of our income.
Dividend | Purchase | Stocks | Dividend Growth | Reinvestment

March continued the strong start to 2021 with respect to increasing the forward dividends for my FI Portfolio.  My forward dividends saw their biggest monthly increase of the year rising $138.61 due to a combination of purchases, reinvestment and the dividend raises.  I wish I could say I expect this pace to continue with $100 climbs each month, but I'm also realistic in that dividend raises will likely slow over the year.  Combined my forward 12-month dividends have climbed $357.82 through the end of March.

Looking Forward

My forward 12-month dividends for my FI Portfolio ended March at $8,031.27 while my FolioFirst forward dividends are at $172.59.  That pushes the total taxable account forward 12-month dividends up to $8,203.86.  My Roth IRA's forward-12 month dividends are at $709.43.  My Rollover IRA's forward 12-month dividends are at $3,637.34.  Across all 4 accounts, assuming no dividend cuts or position size changes, I can expect to receive at least $12,550.63 in dividends over the next year.

We crossed one of those round number milestones in March with the FI Portfolio's forward 12-month dividends surpassing $8,000.

Monthly Average

The following chart shows the monthly dividend totals for each year that I've been investing as well as the monthly average.  It's not always an increase as some companies have weird payout schedules, as we saw above, and eventually some positions will get dropped, but the long-term trend is what matters.  

The rolling 12-month monthly average for my FI Portfolio ended March at $630.98 per month which is -$1.15 or 0.2% below 2020's monthly average of $632.13.  This should start trending back higher starting in April.
dividend growth investing | dividends | financial independence | freedom

Dividends Received Breakdown
Dividends | Financial Independence | Dividend Growth Investing

I've updated my Dividend Income page to reflect March's changes.

With 2021 already one fourth of the way done, how are you looking for your dividend goals for the year?

Let me know in the comments below!